I was thinking today, as I nursed a hangover on a walk with WonderWife and SuperDog in the countryside. I was musing to myself, as I was absolutely disgusted with the amount of beer I managed to put away last night. That might sound odd, as it was of course my choice. But my beer consumption has been alarming me lately, as I've been using it as a quick way to unwind, or to help me deal with the fucking lunar cycle (let's not go there this time; I'll explain that another day). I never used to drink at home, if I wanted to drink it had to be sociably. But since I got married, we have been drinking at home a lot, and it's become almost habitual. It's not every day by any means, but it's pretty frequent, and it's quite a lot - if I drink at home I will generally have around 8 cans of 4% alcohol lager, each can being 440ml.
Anyway, I digress. I was musing to myself as I watched my wife talk on the phone. I thought, what kind of person do I want to be? What do I want to be remembered as? There is every chance I will be remembered as a drunk - or rather, as a drinker. I'm not a sloppy drunk, not an angry one either. I'm very mellow. But do I want to be remembered with a pint glass in my hand? No, not really. Not at all, in fact.
So what kind of person do I want to be? I honestly do not know. I'm mostly happy with the person that I am. I'm quite relaxed, pretty good company, easygoing, blah blah blah.
I think what I am getting at is that I feel I am at a crossroads*. One way is drink and decadence, the other way is running and greater self-awareness. It genuinely feels like a choice. And frankly, I fucking love running so it's not that hard a choice - what scares me though is, what if I discover that need drink? That I might be an addict?
Last night I drank 12 cans of lager. I felt awful about it this morning. The hangover was fine, it wasn't bad in any way really. But I worried about the fact that I did it on my own. I watched TV with my dog, and got fucked-up drunk. That's not good, folks. Not good at all.
If I fill that void with running, swimming and more… I'd be absolutely terrified of getting injured. But hell, that's better than the alternative. So there you have it, there is my choice, that is the person I want to be. I want to be the person that raises their self-awareness and their awareness of the world around them through running; who helps their community by using their two legs, and their knowledge of past mistakes, to help others help that community**; who might even inspire others to do good in the world; who is happy, and content, and who sees the world as full of adventure and possibility; who gets off his arse and runs a minimum of four times a week, and who looks forward to each and every one. Who lives life and enjoys it, wakes up with a clear head and engages with the world fully, every day.
But who does all of this without being a big boring bastard.
*Of course, I am describing a fork in the road as there are only two choices... A crossroads would have three choices, assuming I came in by the fourth road.
** We raised over £2700 for our local hospice by 'running' the London Marathon; also, three members of everyone's favourite local punk band have applied to do it next year and I'm coaching them from scratch to make it to the finish line.